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  Fittipaldi F5A Cosworth      

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Country of origin:Brazil
Produced in:1978
Numbers built:3
Designed by:Studio FLY for Fittipaldi
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:February 02, 2018
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIntroduced in halfway through the 1977 season, the F5 was the first Fittipaldi F1 car not designed by Richard Divila. Instead, it was the work of Dave Baldwin, who had joined from Ensign. Despite the high hopes, the car failed to impress and Baldwin left the team before the end of the season. There were no resources to develop a second all new car within a year, so an evolution, known as the F5A, was created for the 1978 season.

Responsible for the development was FLY Studio, which was run by renowned Italian aerodynamicist Giacomo Caliri. This was certainly a deliberate choice as the F5 had lacked speed on the straights and the ground effect revolution had placed a lot more emphasis on aerodynamics. Accordingly, the F5A featured full-length side-pods, which housed the water radiators and also had wing shaped undersides to generate downforce. Going against period practice, the oil cooler was moved to the nose of the car.

The front suspension featured in-board, rocker actuated springs and dampers to clean-up the airflow to the side-pods. For additional stopping power, the front brakes featured twin callipers. At the rear the brakes were mounted in-board. Bolted directly to the aluminium monocoque as a fully stressed member was the readily available Cosworth DFV V8 engine and Hewland FG 400 gearbox.

Two-time World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi once again drove for his brother's team with support from Brazilian sugar manufacturer Copersucar. At its debut in the Argentinean Grand Prix, Fittipaldi placed the F5A 9th. At the subsequent Brazilian Grand Prix, Fittipaldi impressed with a fine second. Unfortunately, Fittipaldi and the F5A could not repeat the results at his home Grand Prix during the remainder of the season. Several fourth, fifth and sixth place finishes did add to the total tally of 17 points, which saw the team place 7th in the constructor's standings despite fielding only a single car.

For the 1979 season, the new F6 was readied under supervision from former Lotus designer Ralph Bellamy. It did not live up to expectations and the F5As were pressed into service again and served through to the summer of 1979. Subsequently, the cars were further developed raced in the Aurora AFX Championship. Several second place finishes were achieved by Guy Edwards and Bernard de Dryver but ultimately no victories were scored.

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  Article Image gallery (30) Chassis (2) Specifications